Granby’s C Lazy U Ranch welcomes children’s program manager
In March, longtime employee Mackenzie Brenneman returned to C Lazy U Ranch in Granby. Anyone who has worked at C Lazy U, or has visited on vacation, remembers how Brenneman made their time there a little brighter.
Brenneman was a spirted, hardworking member of the C Lazy U family for a decade, before taking a hiatus to work at a local nonprofit in 2019. Her outgoing spirit shone in all the departments she worked in at C Lazy U since she started in 2010 – wrangler, housekeeper, kid counselor, bartender and sous chef. She now returns as the children’s program manager.
“During my time away from the ranch, I felt as though something was missing,” Brenneman wrote in a blog post on C Lazy U’s website. “If you have been lucky enough to experience C Lazy U, you know there’s a spirit about the ranch that draws you in. That spirit has been calling me back since I left.”
The journey back to C Lazy U
During her three-year hiatus from the ranch, Brenneman wanted to help local children. She worked at the Shining Stars Foundation in Tabernash, which provides outdoor social and recreational programming for pediatric cancer patients and their families. Her time at Shining Stars was rewarding and valuable, but she felt pulled back to the ranch, which was like a home.
Brenneman will continue to be involved with the Shining Stars Foundation as a volunteer. She wrote that she hopes to one day connect Shining Stars and C Lazy U for a therapeutic riding program for children facing cancer.
In her new role at C Lazy U, Brenneman plans to make every child’s experience at C Lazy U fun and memorable. Through the children’s program, Brenneman and other counselors will supervise kids 3-17 years old. Many kids attend the program each summer, where they ride horses on miles of trails, tackle the ropes course and climbing walls, participate in cattle drives, go camping, take whitewater rafting excursions and more.
Toddlers ages 3-5 can take pony rides or even hitch a donkey cart ride with one of the ranch’s Sicilian donkeys. At the end of their program, the children then participate in the “Shodeo,” where they show off their rodeo skills to their family, ranch guests and employees.
Rescue missions in mountainous terrain
Brenneman is also a Grand County Search and Rescue volunteer, along with her husband, Brian Blumfield. The couple met at the annual Pond Hockey Classic in Grand Lake. The couple, along with other volunteers, respond to calls of people hurt or lost in the backcountry. Brenneman wrote that having her husband on her side during rescue missions “makes getting out of bed at 1 a.m. in negative 15-degree weather a little more manageable.”
Kids’ counselor to program manager
During her early years at C Lazy U Ranch, Brenneman served as a kids counselor, connecting children with her own love for horses and the outdoors.
“Riding high up in the hills, we would sing at the top of our lungs, tell old ranch stories and stumble across an occasional moose along the way,” she wrote.
Brenneman states that some of the same children she took on horse rides will return this summer – but on the other side of the saddle. They will now be camp counselors working with her. These counselors went from enjoying trail rides behind Brenneman when they were young, to now leading their own rides.
Brenneman will work with both the counselors and the ranch’s string of kids’ horses to ensure that children have a safe adventure on the trails, whether they are getting into the saddle for the first time, or are experienced riders.
“We are so happy to welcome MacKenzie back to our ranch family and know she will do great things for the children’s program,” stated Don Bailey, president and co-owner of C Lazy U Ranch, in a news release. “She has been an integral part of our team for a decade, and I know the guests will be just as excited as our team is to have her back on the ranch.”
The children’s programs are held from January through early June, mid-June through August, late August to Thanksgiving, plus Christmas and New Year’s week, Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. The C Lazy U children’s program is the oldest in the state – founded in 1949 by Marion “Mare” Palmer, who entertained and taught kids at the ranch for 50 years.
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